IAN Evatt has apologised for his choice of words in Saturday’s post-match interview at Cambridge United.

The Bolton boss came under fire on social media after saying his 20-year-old keeper Billy Crellin must “man-up” after a series of first team errors.

Speaking to The Bolton News, Evatt admitted he should have chosen his words more carefully but stood by his decision to discuss the Fleetwood loanee’s form in the media.

“The terminology should have been better,” he said. “And I apologise for that if any offence has been caused.

“What I’d meant was that there is a big step up between junior football and senior football and that Billy does have to get to grips with that as soon as possible.

“I have spoken to him this morning and he understands what I meant. He agrees with the sentiment, in fact. So there is no problem there at all.”

Several prominent football voices on had questioned Evatt’s viewpoint, including former Bolton striker Marvin Sordell.

“It baffles me so much. If he thinks his performances have been shaky so far, what does he expect will happen now?” he wrote on Twitter.

Evatt maintains, however, that his words will not have come as any surprise to Crellin or the rest of his team-mates.

“I had spoken to Billy during the week about my concerns and it was the same after the game,” he said. “Nothing I said in the media was any different to what I said to Billy in person.

“Bolton Wanderers fans will know by now that what you see is what you get with me, honesty and clarity. I won’t hide anything. And my players know that as well.

“I fully accept, though, it wasn’t the best choice of phrase and I can’t take that back.

“And I am disappointed that we’re sat talking about this on a Sunday rather than what was a good performance at Cambridge.”